Rewriting Modernism offers a fresh reading of modernism from the perspective of three women fashion artists – Pan Yuliang, Nie Ou and Yin Xiuzhen – who were professionally active at different stages in China’s political history. Analysing Chinese works largely unknown in the English-language literature to date, Phyllis Teo investigates how the artists negotiated their identities in circumstances that made their status as women living in twentieth-century China particularly distinct.
Providing relevant narratives and historical events, the book seeks to understand how the conventional perception of gender in Chinese society can be shown to be at work in the visual arts. Its juxtaposition of artists of different generations thus constitutes a deliberate attempt to create new opportunities for comparative studies of female artists in China, and to produce a dynamic reading of modern Chinese art from a different perspective.
Phyllis Teo is an art historian and writer based in Singapore. She received her PhD in Culture and Art History from the University of Queensland. She lectures, publishes and writes reviews on contemporary art, Chinese art and Asian visual culture.